Unlocked versus Locked


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  1. Nathan Hale

    Nathan Hale Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    I'm confused over the benefits of an unlocked Nexus One. That is, don't I still have to buy a mobile plan through T-Mobile? So where do the savings or benefits from an unlocked phone come in?
     

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  2. DellyBelly

    DellyBelly Well-Known Member

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    You don't have to buy a plan through Tmobile; thats the point of unlocked. You can buy any plan with a SIM from any other carrier and put it in the phone.
     
  3. 1080p

    1080p Well-Known Member

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    Why do people referred to buying the subsidized version as being "locked"? Whether you buy it for $179 or $529, the device comes SIM unlocked and can still accept any sim. Paying $529 isn't doing anything but keeping you out of a new T-Mobile contract.
     
  4. Nathan Hale

    Nathan Hale Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    Do you have any examples? I'm new to this.

    Meaning, if I have an iPhone, I can pop out the SIM card (that little black square disc in the back of the phone, I think), drop it in the Nexus One, and walk away. And basically, I'm just billed by AT&T now?
     
  5. DellyBelly

    DellyBelly Well-Known Member

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    Yes you can do this; just won't get 3G availability.
     
  6. ecb

    ecb Well-Known Member

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    I think that both the subsidized version (which locks you into a 2 year contract with TMobile for $79.99.month) and the unsubsidized version are unlocked actually SIM unlocked.

    Unlocked simply means that you can put in a SIM card from any GSM carrier that supports the bands the Nexus One uses.

    If your trying to decide between getting the unsubsidized phone ($529) or the subsidized phone ($178) my recommendation is to get the unsubsidized phone if you can afford the up front costs. Here are my reasons:

    1) The unsubsidized phone is actually cheaper over the life of a 2 year contract 2) Your not locked into a contract. So, no ETF from TMobile and Equipment Recovery Fee from Google.

    The reason it's cheaper over the life of the contract is that TMobile has done a great job in how they price their plans. Given that TMobile does not have to recover the phone subsidy with their non contract plans, they actually pass that savings back to the customer in the form of reduced pricing on their non contract plans. Here's a comparison with the Nexus One

    Option1 : Subsidized Nexus One with 500 minute unlimited text/data Even More Plan

    Phone Cost: $178
    Plan Cost (79.99/month for 2 years): $1,919.76

    Option 2: Unsubsidized Nexus One with 500 minute unlimited text/data Even More Plus plan

    Phone Cost: $528
    Plan Cost: (59.99/month for 2 years): $1,439.76

    So, you save $130 over the 2 years.

    The only reason to get the subsidized phone would be if you are can't afford the up front cost or if you are an existing TMobile customer that is in a contract but can get a subsidized price by extending their contract (given the stories I've heard, I'm not even sure if that's possible)
     
  7. Nathan Hale

    Nathan Hale Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    Thanks to all for those great details. That is helpful.

    I'd really like to work through Verizon when it becomes available for Nexus One. So, I'll need to look and see if it makes sense to go unlocked with them once they announce their situation with Nexus One, right?
     
  8. DellyBelly

    DellyBelly Well-Known Member

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    Versions from Verizon will not be unlocked/sim free (They won't use SIM's as it's CDMA); so if you go to VZ you are with VZ unless you cancel.
     
  9. DellyBelly

    DellyBelly Well-Known Member

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    It's because your locked into a contract with TMO; so essentially you are. Obviously with the current setup you could put any SIM in; but if your just talking about buying one phone your locked in for 2 years. But yes, "Locked" in the pure cell phone sense of the word is not accurate.
     
  10. ecb

    ecb Well-Known Member

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    Verizon uses CDMA, so they do not have a SIM card. However, CDMA phones can be unlocked. Here's link to a good post discussing it:

    How-to: Unlocking a CDMA Phone...

    I know that Verizon instituted a policy where you operate non Verizon CDMA phones on the Verizon network so my guess is that you'll still be able to get an unlocked CDMA version of the phone that would work on Verizon. However, I don't think that Sprint (the other US carrier using CDMA) allows unlocked phones on their network, so it's not like an unlocked CDMA does much for you in the US.

    Sorry I don't have more details on the Verizon policy, I just remember reading about it and hearing about it from a tech at a Verizon store.
    Also, given that Verizon does not reduce the cost of their plans when you get a plan without a contract, it would not be cheaper to get an unsubsidized Nexus One and use it on Verizon.
     
  11. Nathan Hale

    Nathan Hale Active Member This Topic's Starter

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    Thanks so much for all the info.
     
  12. DellyBelly

    DellyBelly Well-Known Member

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    Don't hold your breath on this; we have over 500 lines from VZ (we are a mobile testing company) and to get a CDMA phone unlocked that verizon subsidizes requires an act of congress and outside of our testing I have seen 0 benefit of doing this considering the only other CDMA carrier won't activate it on their network.

    And honestly; i don't think and unlocked CDMA phone would be much use to you at the consumer level.
     
  13. 1080p

    1080p Well-Known Member

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    I don't get why people use "unlocked" with CDMA. If you wish to reprogram a CDMA phone to be used with another carrier, all you need is the MSL, a USB cable for your phone, and software... like QPST, CDMA Workshop or Bitpim ... and EVERY Verizon phone uses 000000 as the MSL. The USB cable and software is for changing PRL's and data settings.
     
  14. DellyBelly

    DellyBelly Well-Known Member

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    I really don't think this guys looking to do that; as well as the mass majority of people using CDMA phones. And why would he want to go from Verizon to Sprint?

    And you have commented on "Unlocked" several times; its' semantics; you know what the OP is referring to so it really doesn't matter. If you have a Verizon phone and you want to use it on another CDMA carrier you have to do something that will "reprogram" your phone or "unlock" it.

    If you have a VZ phone you are locked out of the box to VZ settings. Therefore using it on another carrier is essentially "Unlocking" it from VZ's carrier settings.
     
  15. 1080p

    1080p Well-Known Member

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    Yes. But in the wireless world, when I device is "locked" by a carrier, the consumer doesn't have the unique "code" to unlock... to use another SIM or on CDMA... change NAM settings. But ALL of Verizon's phone's don't use unique lock codes. They all use 000000. Anyone has access at any time.

    Oh... and a lot of people around here use VZW phones on Cricket. Imagine using a Verizon CDMA Nexus One on an "all you can eat" voice/text/data plan for $40/mo.
     
  16. DellyBelly

    DellyBelly Well-Known Member

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    That would be quite awesome; you work in mobile as well or just a enthusiast? Usually don't get too in depth with answers as it just confuses most people.
     
  17. mi_canuck

    mi_canuck Well-Known Member

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    Unlocked > Locked

    that simple
     

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